Senior Pastor Marvin Arnpriester

C.S. Lewis makes an interesting observation I have been reflecting on: “Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have something to forgive.”

I have discovered it is much easier to hold onto resentment, grudges, and criticisms of others than it is to let them go into the sea of “it no longer matters in my life.”

But years ago, I discovered that when I have a problem with someone else, it usually says more about me than it does about them. I well remember being righteously offended by a false accusation. It began to work on me, trying to figure out how I could work through my feelings so I could let it go. I even tried talking to the person who had made the accusation, and they would not talk with me about it.

About that time, I read in the Beatitudes that Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so you may be children of your Heavenly Father…” (Matthew 5:44)

Nothing else had seemed to work for me.

So I began praying for the individual. Some of those prayers were accusatory and blaming. Some were feeling sorry for myself. Some were asking God to shape the person up. But over time, even though the person did not change, something in me changed, and I no longer felt a need to get even or justify myself.

Forgiveness is a tough process that does not end with a simple “I’m sorry.” It is a process of letting go of the desire and need to get even.

While God did not fix it the way I wanted, I believe God fixed my attitude in that situation.

Forgiveness does not change the other. It only changes how I feel and treat the other who has wronged me.

Thanks be to God for forgiveness.